It was a period when a nation was staunchly divided — brother against brother. Near the end of the American Civil War, Atlanta — a small yet important southern military outpost — was rendered to ashes and one of the bloodiest battles had just ensued in city’s south and eastern quadrants as Union soldiers continued their marched to the sea to capture Savannah.
While photographs of earlier conflicts do exist, the American Civil War is considered the first major conflict to be extensively photographed. Photographers had to carry all of their heavy equipment, including their darkroom, by wagon. Not only did these intrepid photographers venture onto the fields of battle, but also those very images were then widely published or sold.
However, the capture of Atlanta and the burning of its military facilities were extensively covered by Northern newspapers, significantly boosting Northern morale, eventually leading to what would be an end to the war and the re-election of President Abraham Lincoln by a large margin.
To mark 148th Anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta (B*ATL), historians and civil war enthusiasts from across the nation will converge on some of the city’s most historic sites from Saturday, July 14th through Sunday, July 22nd for the largest array of commemorative activities yet.
Everyone is invited to hear stories never heard before, stories long forgotten, and live history that no encyclopedia or Wikipedia could ever tell. This year’s commemoration activities will include:
- The always-popular Tours of Historic Oakland Cemetery – the final resting place for many civil war figures. It was from a hilltop in Oakland Cemetery, that Confederate General John B. Hood watched the Battle of Atlanta, while nearby lie soldiers from both sides who died in the battle. Dates/times: Various. Location: Oakland Cemetery, 248 Oakland Avenue. Cost: Prices from $5 for individuals to $26 for families
- Author Talk and Book signing by Marc Wortman, author of The Bonfire: The Seige and Burning of Atlanta. Date: Wednesday, July 18. Time: 7p.m. Location: The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, 441 Freedom Parkway, N.E. Cost: Free
- BATL – The camp experience. Home-schoolers and summer day and residential campers can visit the frontlines, meet Abe Lincoln and learn about the Civil War in Atlanta. Date: Friday, July 20. Time: Call 404-377-6148 to set up time Location: Kirkwood community near Gillam Park. Cost: Free for slots are limited,
- A Living History Encampment Experience – “A Soldier’s Life from 1864” in a recreated setting.
Date: Saturday, July 21. Time: 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Location: Kirkwood community near Gillam Park. Cost: Free.
- Spinning, Textiles, and Child’s Play – experience family life at home during 1864. Date: Saturday, July 21 Time: 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Location: Kirkwood community near Gillam Park. Cost: Free.
- A Wreath Laying Ceremony at the monument to Confederate Major General William H.T. Walker.
Date: Saturday, July 21. Time: 10:30 a.m. Location: at the Glenwood Triangle in the middle of Wilkerson and Glenwood Avenue in East Atlanta. Cost: Free.
- A one on one meeting with President Abe Lincoln – Talk with the man and take a picture with him as he makes a post election stop in Atlanta that never happened in November, 1864. Date: Saturday, July 21 Time: Various times until 4:30 p.m. Location: East Atlanta near the B*ATL event headquarters at 457 Flat Shoals Ave. Cost: Free.
- Sounds of the Civil War – 8th Regiment Band Concert featuring an authentic 1864 Brass Band.
Date: Saturday, July 21. Time: 1 until 2 p.m. Location: East Atlanta Fire Station No. 13, 431 Flat Shoals Ave. Cost: Free.
- Civil War to Civil Rights: A Living History Presentation by Civil Rights Attorney Constance Baker Motley as portrayed by Ernestine Brown. Date: Saturday, July 21 Time: 10:30 a.m.; 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Location: East Atlanta in the Civil Rights Tent at 457 Flat Shoals Ave. Cost: Free.
- A Slave Narrative Living History (Part 1) – artist Josie Bailey delivers the real story of a local slave.
Date: Saturday, July 21. Time: 2:30 until 3 p.m. Location: Kirkwood Business District at 11 Kirkwood Rd. Cost: Free.
- A Slave Narrative Living History (Part 2) – artist Josie Bailey delivers the real story of a local slave.
Date: Saturday, July 21. Time: 4 p.m. Location: East Atlanta in the Civil Rights Tent at 457 Flat Shoals Avenue Cost: Free.
- A lecture by Mark Auslander, speaking about his book The Accidental Slave Owner – an account about slave ownership, Emory University and the Methodist Church at the Atlanta Cyclorama.
Date: Sunday, July 22. Time: 7 p.m. Location: Atlanta Cyclorama, 800 Cherokee Ave. SE # C. Cost: Free.
For a list of additional activities, dates, times, locations for the 2012 Battle of Atlanta Commemoration visit www.batlevent.org. Most of the Battle of Atlanta activities are free of charge.